Mindful Walks

Mindful walks create a rhythm to start the day.

It’s a Tuesday morning and the sunshine sparkles off the snow outside of Oak Ridge Elementary School of Leadership, Environmental and Health Sciences. The school starts each morning with 15 minute Mindful Walks around the school campus. Here is the structure one second grade classroom uses to make these mindful moments meaningful.

Before the Walk: Setting the Stage

Second graders trickle in the classroom door. Most join the group at the carpet, but a few remain at their desks- some tucked into raised hoodies. Students begin with our Breathing Routine as a way to settle into the morning. Mrs. B opens a big book of nature poems and reads a winter poem by Robert Frost. She reads it once. Closes her eyes and waits. Then, opens her eyes and asks the students what they saw. After a few share, she reads it again.

“I love reading a nature poem before our Mindful Walk. It sets the stage for noticings”. 

 

Getting Outside

The second graders bundle up in snow gear and line up at the door. Walking outside is a physical manifestation for clearing the slate. Mrs. B talks about the importance of this time for connection and healing. This time is different from recess because, as the kids explain, “there is no running or games.” Mrs. B recognizes the importance of this time to practice self-management. Some students do feel the need to run, but continuing to practice each day creates a new muscle memory for slow, mindful walking. Each day the students intentionally walk the same path. There is a comfort in the predictability and structure of the routine.

It is also different from naturalist time because, “we don’t have any work to do.” This time is a gift to… just be. Students notice the shadows cast on the snow from the barren tree branches. A group observes animal tracks and different consistencies of snow. Winter is so beautiful and the morning walk offers an opportunity to slow down and notice. Students are even given the opportunity to stop along the way and move their bodies in various yoga-based movements.

Mrs. B is also able to check in and help students reset for the day. Hand in hand, very little words are needed to forge connection. The combination of movement and fresh air sends endorphins to the brain that allow students (and teachers) to reframe towards the positive. 

After the Walk: Reintegration

After the walk, students gather back at the carpet. Mrs. B reads aloud a short picture book to reintegrate to the classroom. This time, all students join the carpet. “The students are much more willing to participate after our walk”, Mrs. B says. Then, students will transition to their managed independent learning. This is the stretch of the day that requires the most stamina. However, the mindful morning morning routine has prepared their brains, bodies and hearts for the challenging tasks ahead.

A Trauma Responsive Approach

We know that a trauma responsive lens utilizes rhythm- beginnings, middles and endings.  Predictability. Structure. Someone may look at this daily routine and wonder about the time commitment. However, some of the latest research shows an average teacher requires 45 minutes of redirection time a day due to emotional breakdowns. We know that most students do not enter the classroom ready to learn. Routines like Mrs. B’s Mindful Walk allow for students to come in as they are, and join the rhythm of the school day.

What do you use to create rhythm in the school day? Have you tried Mindful Walking? Leave a comment!

An Update from Kathy Flaminio, Founder, 1000 Petals

Greetings Move Mindfully Community,

We are holding all of you in our hearts and setting intentions for the health, safety and well-being of everyone. Over the past few weeks we have been learning about COVID-19 and its impact on our communities and the world. We know how challenging everyday life can and is likely to be during these very uncertain times, making it important to find ways to be resourceful and adapt to a variety of situations with alternative plans.

We’re hosting a Facebook Live event everyday at 4 pm CENTRAL. It’s a good way for everyone to take time to Breathe, Move and Relax. We hope you’ll join us.

We assume that some of you will not be able to host live workshops so we want to let you know that we have the capability to host webinars as an alternative. Webinars are very effective and SUPER easy to do. We simply send you a link and everyone can be in their own space and on their own devices (e.g. at home, on the phone, computer, etc.). We can email a survey right after the workshop and everyone will get their CEU’s. Since webinars are interactive we will be able to take polls, answer questions, etc. School districts have found this to be a fantastic option for learning because it is so accessible. For individuals who do not have devices or access to the internet we help to find solutions such as sending them a link when they return back to work.

If you’re interested in any of our other expanded online services, you can check out the full list here.

At 1000 Petals, we believe that Move Mindfully practices are a valuable resource now and in the future as we encourage people in our communities to create and hold space for themselves with a focus on self-care and self-compassion.  Let us know if you have questions, need more information, or have additional thoughts about this opportunity.

May we all call upon our inner resources of strength, courage, faith and trust as we move through this challenging time.

Kathy Flaminio, Founder
1000 Petals

Move Mindfully® Foundation Trainings

Register now for our June Training!

Click HERE to register

The complex demands of daily life have created increased pressure, overwhelm, and disconnection. As a result, youth and adults have an urgent need for more physical, mental and emotional support in order to thrive. Many organizations lack accessible tools and resources to address these growing needs. Working at the system level is what’s needed in order to create sustainable change.

Our Foundation Training is for educators, social workers and related service providers. Learn how to integrate breathing, simple yoga-based movements, and social-emotional skill development activities into your environment. Help youth reduce stress, develop self-regulation to increase emotional stability.

When systems integrate Move Mindfully Practices:

  • Educators feel confident they can create safe, effective learning environments.
  • Students build readiness for learning as they feel seen, heard, and supported throughout the day.
  • Practitioners maximize their effectiveness with an accessible mind body toolkit.  
  • Leaders have tools and strategies to promote a culture of wellbeing that maximizes organizational potential.
  • Families feel supported by and connected to the organizations serving their children.

Here are the reasons you should join us at Move Mindfully Foundation Trainings!

 

Integrates into Existing Structures

Move Mindfully is not one more thing. It is the foundation, using brain science and nervous system regulation, that guides all other programs. Our hands-on tools augment existing frameworks and school curricula such as PBIS, RTI, Zones of Regulation®, Conscious Discipline®, Responsive Classroom® and Title 1. These tools also support therapeutic interventions for depression, anxiety, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

A Variety of Environments

Move Mindfully translates into a wide variety of systems. Every environment is unique and our Move Mindfully workshops offer tailored instruction for your organization’s specific youth populations. From traditional elementary, middle and high schools to school-based mental health, after school programs, and charter schools, we customize our delivery. Recently, we have also expanded our workshops for Early Childhood Educators. Although many of the strategies are similar, we have created an Early Childhood Card Deck that features age appropriate language and images.

Visual Aids

Included in the training are the Move Mindfully Card Deck and Permission to Pause Poster set. These visuals allow participants to feel supported taking these strategies into environments for sustainability and fidelity throughout a building. The visuals also promote students using these strategies independently.

Interactive Experiences

We know that in order for youth to learn self-regulation, it is necessary for staff to model what that looks like. Therefore, we begin each segment by offering participants an adult experience. This builds the toolkit necessary for co-regulation. Then, we discuss the strategies modeled. Finally, we allow participants to use the tools to practice. Through this presentation style, we introduce breathing, movement, rest, social emotional learning and the brain science that roots these practices.

Course Descriptions

Day 1 MoveMindfully®: Mindfulness, Movement & Social/Emotional Learning

This workshop enables participants to deepen their understanding of the impact of trauma and stress on both adults and youth. Using the latest in brain science research learn practical interventions to assist youth and adults with self-regulation, focus, de-escalation, and community connection.

Day 2 Move Mindfully®: Trauma Responsive Practices

Using knowledge of trauma, adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s) and mental health diagnoses, participants will have the opportunity to delve deeper into the power of mind-body practices for stress reduction, focus, cognitive flexibility and overall well being.